19 December, 2008

Comparing various Enterprise Architecture Frameworks

There are plenty of comparisons between architecture frameworks and the one I like is written by Roger Sessions from Objectwatch, Inc.


However when you need to explain this to your IT Management or to any decision maker, it becomes a real challenge.

Below is a section of an internal employer email recently sent to explain the role of Enterprise Architecture and how it helps to develop business solutions for people using technology. It uses the analogy of undertaking a trip to explain how the architecture can help on that journey.

...It takes quite some time in convincing people that the decision is not TOGAF or DODAF or FEAF etc. but using just enough of each architecture framework to produce a functionally elegant, minimally complex and maximized compliant solution.

It describes the differences between the frameworks somewhat more simplistically: Zachman is like the map at a low resolution.

TOGAF is like the directions on the map that will lead us to some destination (it may be a good or bad destination).

FEAF contains specific information such as the reference models which act like the road rules and speed limits and communication protocols of our mobile phones, etc. (these are the sensible and logical constraints).

MODAF / DODAF and other defense architecture frameworks describe how our vehicle, which we are using to undertake our journey, is constructed, supported, used, etc (say a bike or a car).

Always refer back to Zachman when you are lost. (Overcome with complexity).

Refer to TOGAF at specific milestones in the journey. (Preparing for reviews, checking completeness of the architecture, etc.).

FEAF reference models for what technologies, constraints, resources, etc that can be used in the architecture.

DODAF when redesigning or designing or specifying explicitly a ‘widget’ in the architecture. (Widget may be a solution agnostic architectural building block or a solution dependent solution building block)...

Which Enterprise Architecture Framework are you using?

Linkedin introduced recently a new feature: Polls.

I wanted to test that feature and created a poll with the main EA frameworks. Unfortunately, this is limited to 5 and I have not been able to include something like "others" or "proprietary".

Furthermore it is not possible to select several.

If interested, you can access this with


Interesting results!